Final Rounds Low at ShopRite
If you want to win this week’s ShopRite LPGA Classic, be prepared to go low in the final round.
Since 1995, every winner of the tournament has shot 69 or lower to capture the title. Donna Andrews was the last winner to fail to shoot a final round in the 60s; she shot 74 in 1994. The winner’s final-round scoring average is 66 during this period, including a 63 and two 64s. In 23 tournaments since the first event in 1986, winners have shot in the 70s only four times in the final round. Annika Sorenstam holds the ShopRite tournament record of 196 (1998 and 2005). She finished with 65 and 64 those years.
A look at the winner’s since 1995 and their final-round scores:
|2006||Seon Hwa Lee||63|
|1999||Se Ri Pak||66|
This week’s course
LPGA players will be facing a historic golf course this week in the Bay Course at Stockton Seaview Hotel and Golf Club.
The course was originally laid out by Hugh Wilson in 1914, with Donald Ross completing the course in 1915. Bob Cupp restored the original design in 1997.
Located on Reeds Bay, a few miles northwest of Atlantic City, N.J., the Bay Course includes classic mounding, difficult bunkering and small greens.
Part of the Bay Course was used during the 1942 PGA Championship, where Sam Snead captured his first major championship, beating Jim Turnesa 2 and 1 in the final of a competition that was then contested at match play. Snead won on the eve of his enlistment in the Navy and earlier earned a one-week extension in order to enter the PGA. Juli Inkster won the first LPGA competition at the course in 1986, shooting 4-under-par 209 to beat Patti Rizzo by three in the Atlantic City LPGA Classic.
The 6,247-yard, par-71 layout has many scoring opportunities late in the round – at the short par-4 16th, where players can cut the corner; at the 115-yard par-3 17th; and at the reachable par-5 18th.
Laura Davies and Jimin Kang share the course record, with 62s in 2005. Kang shot a nine-hole 27 that year.
Long history of winners
The ShopRite LPGA Classic has a long history of excellent winners since the first tournament in 1986. The impact of these historic players is displayed by the first four tournaments which all were won by World Golf Hall of Famers (Juli Inkster in 1986 and 1988; Betsy King in 1987 and Nancy Lopez in 1989).
King won the second tournament in 1987, won again in 1995 and became the tournament’s first three-time winner with a 2001 victory, creating a span of 14 years for the three wins. The 2001 win was the last of 28 LPGA career wins.
A week off for Stanford
A golf tournament was going on down the road from her home in Fort Worth, Texas, so Angela Stanford took advantage of an off week on the LPGA for an opportunity to play in the pro-am at the PGA Tour’s Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial. Stanford was paired with Cameron Tringale and former Chicago Bears quarterback Jim McMahon in the pro-am. Team Tringale finished Tied for 10th place at 10-under.
“I saw her bag next to the tee box and I thought, surely that can’t be in my group,” Tringale told the Fort Worth Press-Telegram. “It was pretty cool. We don’t get to see the women’s tour ever. She’s got a new fan in me.”
Stanford is a Texas Christian University graduate and four-time All-American who grew up in Fort Worth and won the Fort Worth Girls Championship four consecutive years (1993-1996).
This week’s field at the Shoprite LPGA Classic features all of the winners thus far this year on the LPGA – Jessica Korda, Yani Tseng, Angela Stanford, Sun Young Yoo, Ai Miyazato, Stacy Lewis, Pornaong Phatlum and Azahara Munoz…The 26-course, 11-site Robert Trent Jones Trail complex in Alabama turns 20 this year and has grown into one of the state's top tourism draws. One study says it matched the U.S. Space & Rocket Center in Huntsville, Ala., as Alabama's top tourism draw in 2010. It hosts two LPGA tournaments annually – the Mobile Bay LPGA Classic in April and the Navistar LPGA Classic in September at Prattville, Ala.